More than 20 Otsego County mobile homes that have fallen into disrepair will be spruced up, thanks to a federal community development block grant targeted for low- and moderate-income homeowners.
Anthony Scalisi of the Otsego Rural Housing Assistance office said the county has vigorously pursued the grant money in recognition that manufactured housing has become in many cases a permanent and affordable type of housing for struggling families and individuals.
Under federal rules, only those owning both the mobile home and property on which it sits will be eligible for assistance, he said. The grant money will not cover repairs to mobile homes in trailer parks.
One of the project’s goals is to provide accessibility modifications to homes occupied by people with disabilities or who are reaching an advanced age. Another goal is to make the homes more energy-efficient.
Scalisi said work will be performed on approximately 24 homes utilizing the $334,583 grant lined up from the federal Housing and Urban Development agency with assistance from the Otsego County Planning Department.
He said the need for improvements to mobile homes is great throughout the county.
“They are by far the most severe housing deficiencies that we see,” he said.
The eligibility guidelines for assistance state that a household must have income that cannot exceed 80 percent of the median income level for Otsego County. Property taxes must be paid up to date, and the property must be covered by homeowner’s insurance.
Owners who participated in a survey taken as part of the grant application will be contacted by the Rural Housing Assistance office directly. Others interested in acquiring assistance can contact the agency by calling the office at 286-7244 during office hours on weekdays.
The work is expected to begin this spring, officials said.
Contractors interested in participating as vendors will be required to be certified to work on manufactured homes through the New York State Manufactured Homes Program. Information on how to obtain that certification can be obtained from the web site of the New York State Housing Association or by calling the organization at 518-867-3342.